JACKSONVILLE — The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voted Thursday to establish a U of I System liaison office in New Delhi, India, and a branch office in Bangalore, India, to develop relationships with academic and corporate partners in the country and to support student recruitment.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alumnus Vivek Damle will serve as the board's representative in India. The role must be filled before the board can apply to the Reserve Bank of India to open the liaison office.
India is one of the top countries of origin of international students in the system's three universities and is home to more than 2,200 alumni.
The liaison office is expected to continue driving growth in those areas, President Tim Killeen said.
"India has one of the world's largest economies and it has grown rapidly, presenting an excellent opportunity for the U of I System to nurture our existing partnerships and develop new ones, all with an eye toward continued excellence and creating opportunities for students," he said. "Our international strategy is based on promoting opportunity, diversity and educational and research programs with global impact."
Last fall, 2,848 students from India were enrolled at U of I schools in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, more than any foreign nation aside from China.